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Listed in 1 collection

Listed at 1 museum

Listed for 1 maker

Quick Details

Carriage Type

Invalid Carriage

Date of Production

circa 1880

Accession or Inventory Number


Materials used

Paint, Wood, Iron, Leather, Brass, Rubber

Summary of Invalid Carriage

This carriage was almost certainly built as a Bath Chair and has been given a pair of shafts at a later date to make it an Invalid Carriage. Bath Chairs were used by ladies to travel short distances around the streets of Bath, pushed around by a footman or chairman. They were privately owned and an enclosed mode of transport which were first and foremost not used for the transportation of invalids. 

Built by W Monk & Co of Bath this is a nicely built carriage with an elegant profile and an undercarriage of fine construction. 

Full description

Invalid Carriages are very much seen in the public eye as being quite rare but in fact almost every museum in the country has one whether it be on display or in store. What are rare are true Bath Chairs and this carriage was once one which makes it quite exciting.

The body of the carriage is enclosed and private. It has a stylish and elegant profile particularly from the back where the steam bent panels, cut under foot well and curved top edge to the seat can be appreciated. The sides taper outwards towards the top adding to the comfort and style of the carriage. At the front the occupant would be safely stowed inside and protected by a hinged doors on butt hinges with a wood apron across the top. To the top edge of the door a mahogany frame is attached via two brass hinges. This is secured into place by a lock at the top operated by a small brass knob. A neat brass handle is at the top of the mahogany frame to pull it downwards. The leather head is in super condition and folds on three hinged iron arms. Fitted to the back of the carriage on pretty curved iron supports, is a turned wood push handle.

The undercarriage is very lightly constructed. At the front dumb irons run from the underside of the front of the body and are fitted to elliptic springs mounted to the axle. In the middle of the fore carriage is a pin which secures the iron bracket to which the shafts are fitted to. The shafts are fairly cumbersome for a finely built carriage. They are straight with right angle joints at the drawn bar end. The shafts have recently had some work done to them and were taken apart. They have been put back together inside out as the breeching staples are on the inside.

At the back are single leaf C springs. A lever brake is fitted to the rear wheels. The handle is on the nearside of the carriage where it could be operated by the footman. The wheels are bicycle style and the axles are slightly compassed up.

The body, under carriage and wheels are all painted black. 


On the axles caps: W MONK & Co BATH

Condition report

This Invalid Chair is in original condition with the exception of the addition of the shafts. The rubber tyres are worn and a little fragile. The leather head is in excellent condition.  

Access information

This carriage is in the care of Bristol City Museums:

Princes Wharf
Wapping Rd

Tel: 0117 352 6600

Picture credit

Bristol City Council / Amy Bracey